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Report Card 2011

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University of Texas–Austin
College Sustainability Report Card 2011

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University of Texas–Austin

School details:

  Grade higher than last year


Endowment: $12,163 million as of June 30, 2009

Location: Austin, Texas


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: No

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Please note: Data was collected in summer 2010 and may no longer be current.


Data compiled from survey responses, when available, and from independent research, when needed. For more information on data collection and evaluation, please see the  Methodology section.

Overall grade  
B +
UT Austin is committed to sustainability through a formal policy and components of its master plan. An administrative committee, an office, and several staff members work on campus environmental initiatives. The school has a green purchasing policy and buys some Energy Star-certified products, environmentally preferable paper products, and EPEAT-certified computers. A revolving loan fund and a student green fee finance sustainability projects.
The university has achieved a 32 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1986 levels. Technologies to improve energy efficiency, such as lighting sensors and metering, have been installed across campus, and members of the campus community are encouraged to reduce energy use through awareness campaigns and green IT policies.
Dining services purchases some local products and organic items as well as some confinement-free eggs and beef; some vegetarian-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken; and some sustainably harvested seafood. Fair trade coffee is available in some locations; discounts are offered for the use of reusable to-go containers; and dining halls are trayless. The university recycles some electronics in addition to traditional materials.
UT Austin is committed to achieving LEED Silver certification for all new buildings. Four campus buildings are currently LEED certified, and one is LEED-EB certified. Water conservation technologies, such as building water metering and low-flow showerheads, have been installed across campus, and the university uses retention ponds and vegetated swales for stormwater management.
New students may attend an optional information session at orientation on sustainability. The school employs numerous student sustainability interns and eco-reps, and students participate in RecycleMania each year to reduce waste. Student groups such as Net Impact and Engineers for a Sustainable World work to implement environmental initiatives on campus.
Half of the school community travels to campus via alternative modes of transportation, and the university offers carpool incentives and free access to public transportation to students and staff. UT Austin operates shuttles to high-population residential areas, runs a bike-sharing program, and is working to make the campus more pedestrian friendly. The majority of vehicles in the campus motor fleet run on alternative fuels.
The University of Texas Investment Management Company makes a list of investment holdings available online, and proxy voting records are sent to individuals upon request per open records law.
The management company aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds.
The management company provides its investment managers with general guidelines that determine proxy votes on social and environmental resolutions, and specific guidelines that determine proxy votes on corporate governance resolutions.
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